Articulation of Personal Network Structure with Gendered Well-Being in Disaster and Relocation Settings

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Arthur D. Murphy, Professor and Department Head (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Women are frequently considered more vulnerable and generally experience higher levels of stress than do men in disaster environments. This is due in minor part to biological differences between men and women (e.g., pregnancy, nursing, physical strength, various hormone levels, differences in daily caloric intake strategies/metabolism), but is due in major part to culturally derived gender roles involving responsibilities of maintaining networks and caring for others during crises when fewer familiar resources are available. This study delves into how personal networks figure in the relationship between gender and well-being. We employed a social network framework in seven disaster-affected and resettled communities in Ecuador and Mexico to understand better how gender and personal networks interact to produce variations in personal well-being. More than 400 people affected by the volcanic activity around Mt. Tungurahua (Ecuador) and Mt. Popocat├ępetl (Mexico) and landslides in the Caribbean coastal mountains (Mexico) participated in in-depth structured interviews. Data were collected on demographics, health, mental health, and personal networks. Resettled women in both Ecuador and Mexico reported the overall lowest well-being for any network type, although there was considerable variation associated with network type. Subgroups were promising as a protective factor for resettled women in both Ecuador and Mexico, which further points to the role of personal networks. Non-resettled men, on the other hand, reported the highest well-being, followed by non-resettled women and resettled men.

Additional Information

L. Roeder (Ed.), Issues of Gender and Sexual Orientation in Humanitarian Emergencies (pp. 19-28).
Language: English
Date: 2014
Social support, Mental health, PTSD, Depression, Social networks, Resettlement, Volcano, Landslide, Disaster, Gender

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